Applying to Obstetrics and Gynaecology

In this article, we discuss why you should apply to O&G training, how to build your portfolio & we detail the application process. O&G is a 7 year run-through programme, incorporating a core curriculum with ultrasound training & there are plenty of opportunities to subspecialise.

Why apply to Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G)?

What makes O&G a great career?
  • A mix of medicine and surgery – can specialise in whatever bit you prefer with time
  • Generally a healthy cohort of women we deal with
  • Very practical speciality, lots of procedures/operations/scans
  • Every day is different
  • Team working speciality within O&G and across other specialities Immediate results & gratification – especially obs
  • Birth/ Pregnancy is a memorable moment in people’s lives which we get to be part of
  • Transferrable skills to take abroad
  • High Risk / High Reward
  • Ethical complexities
What type of person does it suit?
  • Enjoys working with women, passionate about women’s health
  • Practical & dexterous skillset
  • Can cope with/ keep calm in acute & emergency situations
  • Prepared for nightshifts throughout the career
  • Emotionally resilient as things go wrong and it can be very traumatic/sad
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Team player and enjoys being part of the MDT
  • Leadership skills
  • Problem solver and decision-maker
  • Sensitivity & good listening skills
Is it the right career for me?
  • O&G job during Foundation training
  • Taster week in O&G RCOG Careers Day for Junior Doctors/ Medical Students (Free to attend)
  • Speak with some local O&G trainee’s about their experiences
  • O&G elective placement
  • Student selected modules / clinical placements in O&G
  • View the RCOG PDF brochure to find out more

How to build your portfolio

A key aim is to show dedication to the speciality and then reflect what lessons or skills you’ve learnt or can demonstrate that are transferrable to O&G:

  • Use opportunities to undertake audit/ QIP relating to women’s health (One way to get involved is by sending an email to consultants/doctors to find out about possible projects whilst at university)
  • Taster activities in O&G
  • Develop transferrable skills relevant to O&G
  • Attend local careers fairs or RCOG run events to gain more understanding of the speciality
  • Submit applications for RCOG prizes and awards for Foundation Doctors
  • If taking a gap year – locum / clinical fellow post in O&G (ensure you have no more than 18 months total experience)
  • Could consider sitting Part 1 MRCOG prior to applying (not required before starting ST1 but demonstrates commitment to the speciality)
  • Familiarise yourself with the RCOG ST1 Person Specification. If you are interested in finding person specifications for any other specialties, you can also find them here.

The Application Process

O&G Speciality training is a 7 year run through training programme:

*Image from RCOG brochure on a career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Application is via Oriel and managed by Health Education England (HEE):

  • Applications open Mid-Late November  – online application form
  • Standardised longlisting process
  • Multi-Speciality Recruitment Assessment (MSRA)* – Early January – (25% of interview score)
  • 3 station interview – Late January/ Early February – (75% of interview score) 
  • Offers made in March
  • Ranking of deaneries/allocation of specific posts
  • Posts commence in August

*Multi-Speciality Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) is also done in GP / psychiatry recruitment etc. It is sat at a driving test centre and performed on a computer under test conditions. 

Interviews (pre-COVID) are held at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. It is made up of 3 x 15 minute stations including:

  1. Traditional interview panel
  2. Communication station – roleplay with an actor
  3. Clinical prioritisation station

You can find further information on recruitment including timelines/person specification/vacancy numbers/application guides here.

Useful Resources

Written by Dr Amber Wilson (ST4 O&G)

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8 thoughts on “Applying to Obstetrics and Gynaecology”

  1. Hello! I have a national biology award won during high school. Can I use them for points in my OB/GYN portfolio?

    1. I answered this on your other post, but for completeness – unfortunately they tend only to count those awards won at undergraduate medicine or postgraduate level. You can definitely add it to your application though! If you want to find out specific advice though, you can contact the O&G recruitment team.

  2. Hi,
    I was hoping to get O&G in my FY training but I didn’t. Do you know how I can still build my portfolio in order to apply for O&G ST training? I will be starting FY in August.
    How am I suppose to build my CV or get involved in research when I don’t even get to rotate in O&G except the 10 taster days?

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